And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. (Luke 17:15-16)
Thankfulness is foundational to the Christian life. Thankfulness is a conscious response that comes from looking beyond our blessings to their source. As Christians, we have been forgiven, saved from death, and adopted as God’s children. There could be no better reason for a grateful heart!
Lepers in Jesus’ day were social outcasts. Their highly contagious condition ostracized them from those they loved. When ten lepers encountered Jesus, they desperately implored Him to show them mercy. Jesus sent them to the priest. As they obeyed, they were healed! These ten men had been forbidden to enter their own villages, to live in their own homes, to work in their own jobs, or even to touch their own children. Imagine what unrestrained joy must have filled them as they ran back home again!
One of the lepers, a Samaritan, stopped and ran back to thank Jesus. Samaritans were normally shunned by the Jews, but Jesus had healed him! Jesus asked him, “Where are the others?” Ten lepers had been healed. Ten lepers were reveling in their newfound health. Ten men were joyfully rushing to share the good news with those they loved. But only one considered the Source of that blessing and stopped to thank and worship the One who had given him back his life.
We, too, have been healed and made whole by the Savior. We are free to enjoy the abundant life the Savior has graciously given us. Could we, like the nine lepers, rush off so quickly to glory in our blessings without stopping to thank our Redeemer? God looks for our thanks. Our worship, prayers, service, and daily life ought to be saturated with thanksgiving to God (Phil. 4:6).